Pickerington Times-Sun

Then and now

THEN: O.J. Simpson, Britney Spears, Titanic, the Gulf War, and Y2K might have claimed a good portion of the national spotlight in the 1990s, but there also were plenty of newsmakers right here in Pickerington.

During the decade 1990-1999, Pickerington's Lady Tigers basketball team dominated Ohio sports news.

They won five state championships, and the 1999 team (27-1) shown in this photo was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.

Also during this decade, Lee Gray served as Pickerington's mayor for eight years; the first Pickerington Violet Festival was held in 1998; and the city's first economic development director was hired.

New construction thrived. A new $21.9 million Pickerington high school opened the fall of 1992 on Opportunity Way.

A year later, a new Pickerington Library was built with a $3.1 million bond issue approved by voters.

A second Violet Township firehouse was constructed on Refugee Road; while both Violet Township and Pickerington acquired new government offices/meeting halls.

The American Motorcycle Association moved its national headquarters to Pickerington.

The 1990's decade was not without controversy as the area was experiencing high residential growth.

Public meetings and dissention thrived over rezonings, annexations, water, the development of the 200-acre Taylor Square shopping center, a proposed Route 33/Hill-Diley interchange, a possible downtown bypass, a ballot issue to install a full-time Pickerington mayor, and 16 ballot levy requests from the Pickerington School District including the passage of a 1-percent income tax in 1990.

NOW: Although many things have changed since the 1990s, the Carnegie Library still stands at 15 E. Columbus St., in Olde Pickerington Village.

After the new library was constructed in 1993, the Carnegie Library became the keeper of local history and was renamed the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum.

During September-October, you can see a special exhibit about "The Nineties" -- including photos, a 1990s Lady Tigers uniform, and other artifacts.

Admission to the museum is free every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For additional information about Museum exhibits, or to sign up as a Historical Society member or Museum volunteer, go on-line to www.pickeringtonhistoricalsociety.com or phone 614-382-5989.

Contributions and questions about Then and Now stories can be emailed to the series' creator, Maggie Arendt, at pickhistsociety@hotmail.com.

The Carnegie Library at 15 E. Columbus St. in Olde Pickerington Village is the repository for local history and has been renamed the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum.